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Airport Security to Become More "Confrontational" & "Aggressive"

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posted on May, 19 2006 @ 03:12 AM

More U.S. airports to monitor traveler behavior

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will soon use more behavioral profiling at American airports to detect suspicious activity, a top official said on Thursday.

TSA Director Kip Hawley said the agency would expand a pilot program that has trained officers to observe passengers' behavior currently at about a dozen airports. He said it will be expanded after the summer travel rush.

"We are looking at expanding ... as another layer of security," Hawley said. "We have been very pleased with its effectiveness. We expect it to be an important part of our security going forward."


I am a bit discouraged by the TSA's plan to give more power to people who already having a problem handling it. I have watched people at security checkpoints being treated as so much cattle already. I have also observed people being poorly treated because they were not dressed like execs.

I, myself, was treated like a dog following a week-long horseback trip in the Southwest. My sister and I both saved a pair of jeans and a blouse for the flight home. We looked like any other pair of casually dressed women, but we were singled out of a crowd of businessmen to have our saddlepacks, fannypack-size bags that tie to the back of a saddle, swabbed for explosives.

This experience left us very wary of the quality of people hired for these positions. We were spoken down to as if we were hillbillies who didn't know any better. These individuals also thought it was amusing to humiliate us in front of other passengers by making comments about "being down on the farm" and "going back to the farm".

We filed a complaint, but it was never resolved. The individuals in charge did not feel our complaint had merit. This is one experience out of thousands of daily interactions with the public. How many other people are treated this way?

The TSA plans to target people who are "fidgety or nervous". What? You are in an airport. There are a lot of people with psych issues related to flying. I understand that terrorists may be "fidgety and nervous", but chances are that a lot more honest citizens are going to be the subject of the TSA's attention.

The biggest problem I have with the TSA targeting this group is the power issue. I have been flying for three decades now. Through those 30 years I have witnessed countless examples of small-minded people being given too much authority. The screeners my sister and I encountered were two such people.

I do not dispute that screeners and security should receive more training, but I think it should include a healthy dose of something involving interaction with strangers. This interpersonal training should emphasize polite behavior and appropriate language, aka diplomacy.

In any case, I expect to hear of an increase in complaints from the general public after this plan is implemented. Since my experience in TUCSON, I wear a suit every time I fly even if I if I am going on vacation. I have not been treated poorly since then, but I have still seen others treated so. It has been no surprise to me that they were casually dressed.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 06:44 AM
To be quite honest the screeners are nothing more than security guards,being paid 9.00 ab hour could be there only chance of any kind of authority,having flown for my 1st time last year I observed them on a lay over,whenever a good looking lady walked up,I noticed a code over loud speaker,they seemed to do an extended search on themlike any other job you always look for cheap thrills

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 06:54 AM
Cheap thrills and looking for sweaty people. I wish i could tell you all about my experience on a flight to San Juan in the 70's! I will tell you this much, the guy sitting next to me held a brief case like you would hold a newborn
, he was sweating profusely and i had to put up with the nut for 8 hours flight. Everyone was watching him.
We are a nation of many nuts. I would advice that only the heavily sedated introvert fly- as far as trains?
I took one from Flagstaff to Boston and 2 hours or so into the trip, there was a shooting on the train near New Mexico. Supposedly a suicide.

I dont like the airlines or train stations running my life and bullying me, but there is such a strange element out there my feelings are mixed.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:00 AM
Yeah, it does cause mixed emotions. I'm all for real security measures at the airport and I'm not some one who is going to gripe about how much hassle it is, whether I get the extra-special wand treatment, or the sniffy stuff, but I have to tell you that if they commenced the snide "farm" remarks on me like they did Biblio and her sister, I'd have no problem looking them right in the eye and telling them to keep their personal comments to themselves and just do their jobs. That's way not okay.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:05 AM
More insanity.......lets give the american flying public hell but let illegal hoards cross the border at will and get free citizenship too......thanks there "W".........and the congressional cowards..............

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:07 AM

Originally posted by Oldtimer2

...screeners are nothing more than security guards,being paid 9.00 ab hour could be there only chance of any kind of authority...

I agree with you that they are just rent-a-cops with a narrow window of opportunity for power plays. The problem I have with these people is that they have too much power already. They should be supervised by police officers or something akin to them, or people who have better ethics than the individuals I have dealt with over the years.

Unfortunately, I also have a low opinion of law enforcement. The irony of my position is not lost on me, however, I trust LEO's more than I trust airport screeners. The standards for employment are much higher.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:23 AM

Originally posted by thermopolis
More insanity.......lets give the american flying public hell but let illegal hoards cross the border at will and get free citizenship too......thanks there "W".........and the congressional cowards..............
This is why there is a lot of resentment.
It's stupid and moronic and people get mad and rightfully so. I cant imaging empowering some people i had the priviledge to work with and for at Delta airlines. Their wages are low because of the flight priviledges they have, and though most of them are competent, there are a few lifers there i wouldnt trust to act aggresively and confrontational with anyone. They have mental issues themselves.
They'd be better off getting some officers trained in boot camp techniques to get into the travelers face. Thats what confrontational and aggresive means to me.
Commuting by air is no longer a pleasurable experience, and if the customers arent treated with diplomacy, there aint gonna be no more Airline industry.

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